This past weekend I was at Walt Disney World to cover Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (which you can read about next week) and spend some time with online friends who were on vacation in the parks. On Friday afternoon, ironically while I was riding Maelstom in the Norway area of Epcot, Tom Staggs, Chariman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, made an announcement on the Disney Parks Blog about more “Frozen” Fun coming to the Florida parks. My phone and Facebook was suddenly filled with messages and questions so I thought I’d take today to share my thoughts on these changes. In case you missed the announcement I’ll recap it first.
- A new “Frozen” attraction will be replacing Maelstrom in Epcot. Maelstrom closes October 5, 2014 the new attraction is scheduled to open early in 2016.
- A meet and greet area for Anna and Elsa will be added to the Norway Pavilion.
- Queen Elsa will be using her magical powers to turn Cinderella Castle into an ice palace this holiday season.
- Queen Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Olaf will join the “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas Parade” at the Magic Kingdom.
- The “For the First Time in Forever: A “Frozen” Sing-Along Celebration” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will continue indefinitely.
- Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post & Frozen Funland is being relocated to a larger, yet unnamed area, and will be open at least through the holiday season.
Mom Maven’s Thoughts
Whenever an attraction is closed or changed, there is an uproar in the Disney community. Walt told us that, “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.” Change happens and nothing in the parks is sacred, look what happened to Cinderella Castle for the park’s 25th anniversary…blech! Anyway, Maelstrom holds a special place in the hearts of many but the ride and film are outdated. Rumor is that Norway wouldn’t step up and upgrade their pavilion so Disney stepped in. Whatever the reason, I am looking forward to the change and I am proud of Disney for giving us an attraction with in 5 years of the movie’s release. Remember, we had to wait 20+ years for a “Little Mermaid” ride.
I have no problem with a fairy tale being in World Showcase because they are already there. Many characters have meet and greets in the country of their story’s origin. Donald Duck already has a home in the Mexico Pavilion so why can’t the fictitious Nordic town of Arendelle be placed in Norway? I am happy that a meet and greet area will be added to the Norway Pavilion too. Hopefully having two locations to meet the Queen and the Princess will help cut down on wait times.
There is a lot more I could say on this issue, but I won’t. I do hope to be at Epcot on opening day of this attraction, yes, I’m that excited.
Having Queen Elsa use her powers to turn Cinderella Castle into an ice palace seems very appropriate to me. Who conjures up a better winter wonderland than Queen Elsa? No one! The “Frozen” characters are a natural fit for “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas Parade” and they will be a well-received new addition.
Back in July I told you that I thought the sing-along would stay around for a while and I guess I was right! This makes me so happy! This is a truly magical attraction, which I have seen 3 times so far! Now more guests will get to have fun singing along to their favorite “Frozen” tunes. I’m also glad the Oaken’s will be around for a while longer. Seeing the joy on kid’s faces while they play with snow…in Florida is wonderful. I’m also glad that the new location will have an expanded “Do You Wanna Build a Snowman Snow Ground”. I wanna build a snowman, but the lines have been soooo long, I haven’t done it yet.
I know this post is long but I wanted you to know what is going on at Walt Disney World. While I understand the people who are upset at losing Maelstrom, change is constant and as Walt said, we need to “Keep moving forward.”
What are your thoughts about all of these changes? Leave me a comment so we can discuss this issue.